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Smart speakers: South Park episode takes Alexa and Google Assistant into focus

Sunday, September 17th, 2017 | Gadgets

Smart speakers have arrived in the world of South Park. In the first episode of the 21st season of South Park smart speakers like Echo, Echo Dot or Google Home are maltreated with all sorts of unusual commands. From the US, some viewers report that their echo and Google home speakers responded to the commands spoken in the series.

Smart speakers react to signal words
This is not surprising, the smart loudspeakers are activated with a signal word and when they sound from the TV, the devices react accordingly. Until now, digital assistants do not pay attention to who is talking to them. When a smart loudspeaker is in the apartment, it can be used by everyone in the household. There is no way to limit the use to certain voices.
For example, echo speakers do not react when an Amazon advertising spot is running on the smart loudspeakers, all the spots are sent to the digital assistant. This is to prevent the speaker from responding to the commands from the TV.
Smart speakers can be deaf
In the South Park episode, many users have not deaf their smart speakers and use them in the default configuration. At the very least for the Alexa devices, users can use a different signal word than Alexa. Owners of a Google home speaker have no way to change the signal word.
On Twitter, some audiences complained that they had to take their smart speakers off the stream during the South Park episode. It is unclear whether a larger problem should be generated here, or whether they really knew their devices so little and did not know that the microphone on the loudspeaker can be switched off and the devices react to no voice commands.

When the loudspeaker rings at 7:00 in the morning
Among other things, an alarm clock is set in the South Park sequence at 7:00 am. Also this command has implemented the local loudspeaker, if it was correspondingly active. All this, however, is not unnoticed by the user, all received commands of the smart loudspeakers are recognizable for the user recognizable. However, in such a case, users must remember to switch off or delete the alarm if they do not want to wake up early.
From the first episode of the 21st season, there is still no German sync, but the episode can already be viewed in English on the German South Park website. The German subtitles promised by Comedy Central were not to be found with us however.
South Park has been around for 20 years
Before you look at it, the microphones of Alexa and Google Assistant speakers should be turned off for safety, because the devices otherwise go on continuously. Since the smart loudspeakers at most will be in German, but will not happen much, because only the active language is understood and the commands in the episode are just to be heard in English. From the cartoon series South Park has just started the broadcast of the 21st season, the series has been there since 1997.


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